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‘Shocking approach,’ SC to UP govt in row over slapping of Muslim boy in classroom

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday slammed the Uttar Pradesh government for not complying with its order to depute a counselling agency for the Muslim boy and his classmates, who were allegedly instructed by their school teacher to slap him for not completing his homework, in Muzaffarnagar district.

A bench of Justices Abhay S Oka and Pankaj Mithal appointed the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Mumbai, to suggest the mode and manner of counselling of the child and his classmates.

The bench also asked TISS to suggest the names of expert child counsellors available in the state who can extend counselling under its supervision.

It also directed the principal secretary of the school education department to remain present virtually during the next hearing to avoid any strong action by the court.

“We are of the view that the Uttar Pradesh government, and in particular the education department, has not complied with various orders passed by this court from time to time. There is no proper counselling conducted for the victim child and the other children involved in the incident,” the bench said.

“To say the least, the approach of the state government as seen from the affidavits filed regarding providing counselling to the children is shocking,” the bench added.

The court directed the UP government to provide all infrastructural assistance and support to TISS, and ordered it to submit a report before the next date of hearing, i e, on December 11.

Earlier, the court had asked Additional Solicitor General K M Nataraj to take instructions on the availability of an expert agency like NIMHANS and TISS, in connection with the counselling of the child and the other children involved in the incident.

Acting on a plea by Tushar Gandhi, great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, the court had on November 6 asked the Uttar Pradesh government to facilitate the admission of the student, to a private school there.The police had registered a case against the teacher.

(Published 10 November 2023, 11:46 IST)

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